Bio. Section 4
Mr. Hamani Diori, President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger, was born in 1916 at Soudoure in Western Niger.
A graduate of Ecole Normale in Dakar, he began his career as a teacher in Niamey, Maradi, and Paris. Among the variety of posts he had, it would be worth noting that he was a headmaster a of school, one of the founders of the Niger Progressive Party and deputy vice-president, and last but not least, a member of the French delegation to the European Parliamentary Assembly.
In 1958, when his country became self-governing, he became president of the provisional government and the following year, president of the council of ministers of the young Republic.
Ever since he became president, he has traveled extensively throughout his country. He acquaints himself with the problems of the people, asks them of their desires and aspirations, trying to find common denominator to a solution.
He is just as much at home in the deserts of Niger, as he is in Niamey. Wherever he goes his people receive him enthusiastically. He is simple in his manners, and in the way he speaks to the people, stating clearly the policy of his government: National unity, higher living standards, and economic development.
As a form believer of the new Africa, he signed Conseil de l'Entente together with leaders of Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, and Dahomey.
Men are not alike in capacity or in character. People who work hard are reasonably praised and respected. Some men are endowed with energy and imaginative wisdom that they distinguish them from others. One such person is Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Many call him an outstanding statesman, a top-notch intellect, a self-sacrificing saint, who will die in defense of Africa. Others call him a hair-lifting orator who brings people to the brink of hysteria. Some recognize him as being the father of Nigerian nationalism and others see him as a talented athlete.
Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe was born fifty-nine years ago in the town of Ontisha, in Northern Nigeria. Educated in his native town and in Calabar and Lagos, Dr. Azikiwe displayed his capacity for leadership and ability to learn very.
Dr. Azikiwe studied for nine years in the U.S.A. Yet, nothing came easily for him. First and foremost, there were the numerous problems of Nigeria; problems that he could not have changed with a mere stroke of the pen. Secondly, the lack of fund to finance his studies used to worry him. Nevertheless, he carried his problems with dignity and courage.
Governor-General Azikiwe studied in Storer College, Howard, Lincoln, Pennsylvania and Columbia universities. He has degrees in Philosophy, Anthropology, History, and Political Science. For sometime, he was also an instructor in History and Political Science at Lincoln University.
As a journalist of a considerable reputation, he established a chain of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria. His newspapers, like the African Morning Post and the West African Pilot, inspired nationalism in West Africa at large. The result, needless to say, proved exactly what he expected.
As a scholar, he wrote a number of books such as "Liberia in World Politics," "Political Blueprint of Nigeria", "Economic Reconstruction of Nigeria" and "Renascent Africa".
In his book "Renascent Africa", among other things, he speaks of "the flowering of Ethiopia in antiquity and of Songhai in the Middle Ages", "of the slave trade and the devil of imperialism that contributed a lot to holding the African to the point of status quo."
As a politician first, and a statesman second, he was a member of the Executive of the Nigerian Youth Movement, Organizer of the Nigerian Reconstruction Group, President of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon, leader of the opposition in Western Nigeria's Assembly, Premier of Eastern Nigeria, and President of the Federal Senate. And today, he is not only Governor-General of the Federation of Nigeria, but also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President of the Lagos Football Association and the Nigerian Amateur Athletic Association.
He often says, "Selfish men cannot build lasting unity. Morally defeated men, motivated by self aggrandizement cannot rise above self interest."
Having the intellect, the drive and almost a legendary prestige among his countrymen, one can only wish him the age and the well being in the role he plays to Nigeria's growing maturity.
Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the Prime Minister of the Federation of Nigeria, was born in 1912 at the village of Tafawa Balewa, in Northern Nigeria, where he completed his elementary and secondary school studies. Later on, he joined Katsima College and qualified as a teacher.
He taught for three years, and went to London University for advanced studies. Though he wanted to be a teacher by profession, he was destined to be an astute and impressive statesman by nature. It was during his short stay in London, that he found politics to be his cup of tea. What he saw, heard, and studied in London, coupled with his natural magnetism and inclination, gave him the necessary ammunition to fight the problems of life and the burdens of politics.
He came to Nigeria, joined the Northern People's Congress Party, and worked his way through with determination and tact.
Before assuming his present post, to mention a few, he was Minister of Works, Minister of Transport, leader of the Northern People's Congress Party, and the Nigerian representative at the Commonwealth Conference in London. In 1960 when Nigeria became independent, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, knighted him with the title "Sir".
The Nigerian Prime Minister symbolizes the dignity, hopes and aspirations of the "African Elephant". His unshakable integrity and skillful administrative ability, keep him popular and respected.
He is reserved and unassuming - never a flamboyant politician. His rolling resonant oratory and superb command of the English language, have earned him the nickname of "the Golden Voice."
In his effort to lift and drive his developing country, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa is cautious, moderate, and diplomatic. He believes in gradual reform and evolution rather than revolution. His short stay in the USA in 1955 for instance, completely changed his outlooks on Nigerian Unity.
To this effect he said, "In less than two hundred years this country was wedged together with people of different backgrounds. They built a mighty nation and had forgotten where they came from and who their ancestors were. They had pride in only one thing: the American citizenship. If the Americans can do it, so can we."
President Groire Kayibanda, head of state, head of the government and commander-in-chief of the national army of the Republic of Rwanda, was born in the town of Kitega in 1924.
After studying the Humanities and Philosophy in Usumbura College, he became a school inspector. The invaluable services which he rendered his countrymen as chief editor of the Kinyamateka newspaper by way of enlightening them on various topics and subjects has left a deep impression on the minds of the people.
Mr. Kayibanda was also one of the national leaders who signed the 1957 Bahutu Manifesto, which demanded justice, equality an freedom for the masses.
Before assuming his present post, he was a deputy at the Provisional Council, founder of the Movement Social Hutu Party, Prime Minister of the Provisional Government in 1960, a Deputy to the Parliamentary Assembly in 1961, and then, he was appointed Prime Minister of the second government of Rwanda and finally President of the Republic of Rwanda.
President Leopold Sedar Senghor was born on October 9, 1906, in the fishing village of Joal, Senegal. He began his primary and secondary school education in Dakar, and then went to Paris for further studies. There, he obtained a degree in Education with distinction, and taught diligently for some time in a number of French secondary schools.
Needless to say, he is a man with a versatile mind. He fought with the French as an infantryman in World War II; he had been an active member of the teaching staff of the National School of France Overseas; the Senegalese deputy to the Constituent and French Assemblies; and the Secretary of State for scientific research for the French Government.
On top of these, he had participated in a number of international seminars and conferences, and had played a distinguished role in UNESCO. He was also elected to the General Council of Senegal and the Grand Council of French West Africa. He was the mayor of Thies and founder of the African Regroupment Party and an architect of the former Mali Federation.
In 1959, he became President of the Legislative Assembly of the Federation of Mali, which included Senegal. When the Republic of Mali broke off from the federation, he was unanimously elected President of the Republic of Senegal.
President Senghor is an opinionated, brilliant scholar, and also a reputed statesman. He wrote a number of books, essays, and poems that have earned him an established literary prestige.
Bio. Section 5